Friday, February 13, 2015

The Book I'm Dying To Write

I have wonderful daughters and ever since they came into this world I've longed to write a book that was for them. Something they could pick up in a few years and read and know that Daddy had been thinking about them, maybe only about them, when he wrote it. Maybe it wouldn't be any good, but it would be theirs and they could always have it, even after I was dead and buried I could tell them this story, which was really their story.

But there was a problem, namely, I have to actually write the damned thing.

First world problems, here we go:

When I was a young reader, I skipped straight from Encyclopedia Brown to Tom Clancy and John D. MacDonald. (How's that for a jump?) Eager to read what Dad was reading, I left the middle-grade world, where I hadn't spent too much time anyway, and skipped right over the YA universe. Looking back now, I feel like I cheated myself out of experiencing a lot of the same books my friends were reading and that I missed out on part of the collective experience happening around me.

It wasn't until I took a course in YA writing a few years ago that I even went back to the genre. I'd signed up on a lark because it was being taught by a successful author and I hadn't taken a formal class in awhile. Through that class I was exposed to many of the stories I'd passed right by, which was great. But when I actually sat down and tried my hand at writing a YA story, the gobbledygook that spewed out of me was a complete disaster.

Because I hadn't spent much time with these kinds of books. In my youth I stayed up late to read Lawrence Sanders, or see what Travis McGee was up to, or inhale the next Dean Koontz novel. I've said here and elsewhere that a good story is a good story, no matter the genre or subgenre, or theme, or mood, or style. And while that's true, every genre has its own set of rules, for lack of a better term. And I just hadn't learned them for YA yet.

So I can't write that book yet for my daughters, though I'm dying to. Because I haven't done my homework. Not enough of it, anyway. Ever since that YA writing class, I've read in the genre here and there, slowly building up my understanding of the mechanics behind these books. And one day I hope to write this book for my girls, which will be a testament to their uniqueness, creativity, and general awesomeness.

Here's the blurb:

Aoife Finley is bursting at the seams with ideas. She draws, paints, reads, sings, and tells stories better than any one. Her imagination knows no bounds.

Mr. Peterson is old, his best days long behind him. He yearns for the past, mistrusts the present, and fears the future. But he's just figured out how to recapture his past:

By stealing children's imaginations.

Now Aoife must journey into the imaginary world of her own creation, Paxsum, to stop Mr. Peterson. Before the real world as she knows it--and as it could be--disappears forever.


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